Chilling details emerge in ‘serial killer’ case after 2 brutal murders solved

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CHILLING new details have emerged about a “sexually motivated serial killer” who brutally killed two women.

Horace Van Vaultz Jr., 67, from California was convicted for the rape and murder of two women in the 1980s after new DNA evidence linked him to the case.

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The California man was convicted in Los Angeles Thursday for the rape and murder of two women in the 1980sCredit: Burbank Police Department

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Victim Selena Keough was found in bushes near an apartment complex in Montclair

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Mary S. Duggan was found stuffed into the trunk of a car in a Burbank parking lot

A jury convicted the deranged attacker of first-degree murder after he took the lives of Selena Keough, 21, on July 16, 1981, and Mary Duggan, 22, on June 9, 1986, Fox News reported.

The defendant was described by prosecutors as a “sexually motivated serial killer”.

Deputy District Attorney Beth Silverman labelled Vaultz Jr. “a sexual predator”, telling the jury he “chose these victims [and] the defendant is sitting here because he’s a serial killer”.

Nine men and three women deliberated for three hours before Vaultz was deemed guilty of murder.

He was also convicted of the special circumstance allegations, including the rape of both women and sodomy.

Victim Selena Keough was found in bushes near an apartment complex in Montclair, in San Bernardino County, after being strangled to death.

Mary Duggan was found stuffed into the trunk of a car in a Burbank parking lot. She died of asphyxiation.

Both women were partially or fully nude at the time of their deaths.

Silverman argued the “sexually motivated homicides” were “committed by the same serial killer between 1981 and 1986”.

Vaultz’s DNA was found on or in both victims, according to CNS.

Silverman said the “ton of evidence” points “only to the defendant”.

The defendant denied any wrongdoing, during the trial: “My semen means I may have had sex with the person. It doesn’t mean I killed them”.

When he was questioned over the DNA evidence, he reiterated: “I’m telling you I didn’t kill anyone”.

Damon Lamont Hobdy, Vaultz’s attorney, said the prosecution failed to prove his client committed the murders.

He said: “If the evidence shows he’s not guilty, which it does, do your duty.”

The two murders went unsolved for decades as the type of DNA evidence was not available at the time. 

‘INCREDIBLY GRATEFUL’

The case was the first where Los Angeles County relied on investigative genetic genealogy.

Investigators used DNA from commercial databases to link a relative to the suspect, Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey said.

Keough’s sister, Sabrina Plourde, said she was extremely grateful for the outcome after feeling like her sibling’s loss had been forgotten.

She said: “I’m feeling incredibly grateful for everybody that helped us get to this point.

“You think for so many years nobody cares.

“They do care and they won’t forget and they won’t forget about the family if you’re missing someone.”

Burbank police arrested the offender during a traffic stop in November 2019 in relation to the killings of Keough and Duggan.

He faces life in prison with no possibility of parole and will be sentenced in a hearing on Sept. 19..

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